Middle East-Bound New 2020 Lexus RX Facelift Revealed
The Lexus RX is undeniably the bread-and-butter model for the posh Japanese automaker. It went on sale back in 1998 as one of the first of its kind – a unibody luxury crossover SUV. It has now been over twenty years since the RX debuted and today, the model essentially defines the brand itself. While previous generations of the Lexus RX featured a more mellow approach to styling, the new fifth-generation avatar deviates from that and as a result, looks far more vibrant and futuristic in its appearance. Even so, this one has been with us for almost five years, but its brash design remains a crowd puller. However, in order to keep pace with its equally impressive rivals, Lexus has finally revealed the next iteration of the well-liked RX.
The 2020 Lexus RX, though a new model, is technically a mid-life cycle update (aka a facelift). Obviously, that indicates that there won’t be any revolutionary design alterations or massive mechanical changes to be found here. With that being said, it’s not like Lexus hasn’t bothered to do anything at all – in fact, there are a few nips & tucks. Beginning with the exterior of the 2020 RX, the update brings along new, sportier front and rear bumpers, a fresh set of 18- and 20-inch alloy wheels, sleeker headlights and tail lights, full-LED front fog lights, and there are also a couple of new paint schemes to choose from. All in all, it seems that the new Lexus RX very much retains its ability to turn heads.
While the exterior modifications haven’t been significant enough to write home about, what Lexus has accomplished inside the cabin carries far greater benefits. The niche arm to Toyota has been well-renowned for its superior quality interiors and excellent attention to detail. But, the carmaker has faced mass criticism for its clunky multimedia system, which is not only difficult to operate but misses out on some modern features, too. To remedy that, Lexus not only introduced a more tactile touchpad to replace the horrendous pucker mouse interface but also brought in support for Apple CarPlay. However, there was still no Android Auto and the new touchpad system couldn’t make up for the lack of a dedicated touch-enabled head unit. On the new 2020 Lexus RX, engineers have now been able to incorporate either an 8-inch (on lower trims) or 12-inch (top trims) touchscreen displays in the interior. Also, the RX finally features Android Auto, becoming the first Lexus model to have it.
“The new 2020 Lexus RX improves our best-selling vehicle with a focus on the future of the brand – one of sophisticated, yet bold, design. We heard very positive feedback from our guests about their experience in the RX, and we worked to improve upon the success with key areas of focus,” says Lisa Materazzo, vice president of Lexus marketing. The new model will continue to be sold as a five- or seven-seater, and will likely use the same engines as the outgoing RX. In the UAE, the present-gen RX can be had with one of three powertrains: there’s a 2.0-litre turbo-four with 235 hp and 350 Nm, a 3.5-litre six-cylinder with 296 hp and 370 Nm, and finally, a Hybrid with 308 hp and 335 Nm of torque. All Lexus RX variants are equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD) and an automatic gearbox as standard.
Though there aren’t going to be any changes made to the 2020 RX’s drivetrain, Lexus boffins have taken steps to improve the overall comfort of the crossover. The new and lighter model now receives retuned dampers and bushings, recalibrated anti-roll bars, improved steering response, and beefed-up sound insulation for a much quieter cabin. The expected launch date of the 2020 Lexus RX will be later in the year in the US, with the Middle East following suit soon after.